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Old 03-05-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Steeler, self-identity is a key point of regionalism and I know from experience than when you get south of Petersburg, the residents clearly ID themselves as southerns, and their ancestors were overwhelmingly Confederate soldiers. Everything you said about the formation of WV is correct, but remember, much like Maryland today, the people in power and in majority dictated the terms, and they lived in the "Trans-Allegheny" Ohio River Valley were backed by the guns of the union.

As for flying the Rebel flag, anyone who can trace their roots to Confederate soliders or sympathizers have every right to fly the flag the same as a Greek-American can proudly fly the Greek flag (many of whose ancestors never actually lived in today's political state of Greece), or millions of "Irish" can put on the Green, Orange, and White and parade every St. Patrick's Day. Flags doesn't just represent political soverienty, they also represent personal roots and self-identity.
I think your description is the crux of my argument. Greeks, Irish, Poles, Finns, Portuguese, etc. are nationalities. When the Ottoman Turks overan Greece, the British over the Irish, the Germans over the Poles, the Swedes/Russians over the Finns, the Spanish/French over the Portuguese, etc., none of these people had sovereignty, thus no flag. However, no one would argue that these cultures ceased to exist. They share a common language, bloodlines, cuisine, religious orientation, myths, legends, styles of dress and any of the facets that you can think of to indicate culture, ancestry, or heritage.

But outside of the Confederate Battle Flag, what culture do "Confederates" share that is exclusive to that group? Confederate military service may be one characteristic of "Southern" culture, but because the VAST majority of Southerners don't trace any ancestry to Confederate military service their are a lot of people wielding the symbol that have no ties to it. Just because blacks, Mexicans, and Greeks wear green and drink Guinness on St. Patrick's Day doesn't make them Irish! Just because your ancestor served in the Continental Army doesn't make you a war hero.

Sons and Daughters of Confederate Veterans have no cultural characteristics that are not found in some other group. It could be argued that the battle flag was patterned after St. Andrew's Cross carried into battle by the Ulster Scots. However, the Scots-Irish Americans were more apt to be Unionists than Secessionists. And I was even being generous to Confederates; as no country officially recognized the CSA, technically they were not even sovereign. Confederates established no permanent institutions, language, cuisine, religious demoninations, etc.

Unlike the Third Reich, which was as temporary as the CSA but even less so, the Confederates left behind no ideas or technologies that were incorporated into the larger society. Outside of Kentucky, Confederates left loyal states such as Maryland and West Virginia to engage in service then came back after the war. I firmly believe that the Confederate battle flag is a culturally-flimsy symbol around which to identify and not a particularly accurate predictor of "Southerness".

Once again, I believe the Confederate National Flag is a more potent symbol because it was at least intended to indicate sovereignty. But as I stated before, you rarely see that flag flown outside of Georgia (IMO South Carolina flying a Confederate Battle Flag is more egregious that let's say, New Mexico flying one of Santa Anna's battle flags, which of course would never happen). I'll let you use your imagination as to why the Confederate Battle Flag is identified with so much more than the Confederate National Flag.

I don't think it has much to do with "Southerness". Here's a hint, some Native Americans fought for the Confederacy but never flew the national flag because they were their own sovereign nations. Some African Americans fought for the Confederacy but never served under the national flag because at the time they weren't citizens of any nation. So why is it a truly rare event indeed today to see a Native American or African American in the South (or anywhere for that matter) brandishing a Confederate Battle Flag, even though a considerable number of their ancestors also fought for the Confederacy?
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Edgemere, Maryland
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I've been reading the discussion between westsideboy and Steelers10 and you have lost me, Steelers10. I think you are thinking a bit too deep about it and why people fly the flag.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDguy99 View Post
I've been reading the discussion between westsideboy and Steelers10 and you have lost me, Steelers10. I think you are thinking a bit too deep about it and why people fly the flag.
Well, I don't think so.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
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No, I am lost too. My only point was that WV south of Petersburg is culturally Southern and self-intentify as such. I only brought up the battle flag because Steeler10 said WVians had no right to fly it, which I disagree with. I do agree that the actual national flag of the Confederacy (The Stars and Bars), not the battle flag would be the more legitimate symbol for the Southern political cause of the 19th century. The battle flag was largely forgotten as a popular symbol until carted back out in the Civil Rights movement. None the less it is a symbol of the Confederacy. Most nations have several flags, symbols regalia, etc.

Lastly, as for what the Confederate States of America contributed as a "state" to the world stage was virtually nothing because it was quashed out of existance quickly by its larger neighbor. However to the Southern people, who constitute a sort of Nation within a Nation (most are proud to be American and a Son or Daughter of the South, just like a Breton can still be a loyal Frenchman.) the brief period of self rule created most of the heros, legends, and cults around which their shared mythos revolves.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
No, I am lost too. My only point was that WV south of Petersburg is culturally Southern and self-intentify as such. I only brought up the battle flag because Steeler10 said WVians had no right to fly it, which I disagree with. I do agree that the actual national flag of the Confederacy (The Stars and Bars), not the battle flag would be the more legitimate symbol for the Southern political cause of the 19th century. The battle flag was largely forgotten as a popular symbol until carted back out in the Civil Rights movement. None the less it is a symbol of the Confederacy. Most nations have several flags, symbols regalia, etc.

Lastly, as for what the Confederate States of America contributed as a "state" to the world stage was virtually nothing because it was quashed out of existance quickly by its larger neighbor. However to the Southern people, who constitute a sort of Nation within a Nation (most are proud to be American and a Son or Daughter of the South, just like a Breton can still be a loyal Frenchman.) the brief period of self rule created most of the heros, legends, and cults around which their shared mythos revolves.
I think this is a sticking point because "Southern" is a culture, "Confederate" is not. Please give me any examples of a "shared mythos" that "Confederates" have that some other culture does not. Once again, the comparison with Bretons is a false analogy because they were an ethnic group that migrated from somewhere else and named Brittany after themselves upon arriving in France where they maintained a very different culture. Confederates were neither an ethnic group nor immigrants.

I still maintain than outside of the treason of some Southerners, the Confederate States of America created no institutions or ideas in their brief "history" that can be construed as culture. Remember, the OP is a Civil War battle reenactor. So at Antietam (Sharpsburg), what type of local Maryland regiments would be more apt to show up to engage with his Mississippi Guard, a Union regiment or another Confederate regiment?

From my understanding, a major issue for Civil War reenactors is that there just aren't enough Union reenactors to serve as opposition. When I went up to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA all there was was a Mississippi regiment that could only demonstrate it encampment and formations because there was no one to "fight". From my understanding, other Confederate battalions have to dress as Union troops just to be able to stage battles.

But to my point, I couldn't see anything in the encampment that culturally separated these Rebels from Yankees. I'm simply asking for some tangible evidence that a "Confederate" has any material culture outside of the Confederate Battle Flag. German Americans, Italian Americans, and Irish Americans have overwhelmingly assimilated but still have remnants of their cultural heritage such as surnames, religion, and cuisine (which at this point we just consider "American"). I'm still waiting to hear the cultural contribution of Confederates that are exclusive to that group.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,560 posts, read 7,621,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I think this is a sticking point because "Southern" is a culture, "Confederate" is not. Please give me any examples of a "shared mythos" that "Confederates" have that some other culture does not.
Robert E. Lee, "the lost cause", in invicibility of the Army of Northern Virginia, Stonewall Jackson, all Confederate heros, a better term to describe them than "Southern heros"

The best way to describe the American Civil War is to look at its place in the broader history of the Western World. The period of 1860-1880 was the period of Nationalistic wars, it was when "Germany" was formed, it was when "Italy" was formed. It was when France undertook a huge effort (that continues to this day) to make the population "French." In 1860, roughly 1/2 the population of France didn't even speak French! They spoke Breton, Occitian, Provencial, Gascon, etc. The government of Napolean III's biggest acheivement was building a national transportation and education system that served to create and spread the idea of a French "nation" that was didn't exist among 1/2 the population that clung to their regional languages and heritage.

When scene through this prism, the Southern American states finding common cause among each other and forming a nation (which is people, not political boundaries) is just another example of this. Unlike the Italian peninsula that had a relatively easy time shaking off several underwhelming overlords and forming "Italy" and begin the process of making their residents "Italians" rather than Romans, Neopolitans, Venicians, etc. or Germany that had Prussian military might to unite all but the German speaking Hapsburg lands under their flag, the Southern Confederacy had to fight in isolation against a larger, more industrialized nation and lost their war for independence.

None the less, the Southern "nation" (again people) were united by their conflict and even though they didn't gain independence, keep that sense of unity with each other. It is important to remember in the 1860s and prior it was not THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, it was THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. From the founding of each individual colony until 1860, most residents of the US identified with their state before their federal goverment. The Civil War was fought over this issue. The slave states found common cause with each other against their Northern neighbors, and it came to a head over slavery and perceived threat of growing Federal power (they were right on that one) and attempted to form a "nation." This is no different than what was happening in Italy and Germany at the same time.

So in conclusion, The American Civil War was really a war about nationalism, the Confederacy was the name of the attempted "state" and its legacy persists in its heros, "the lost cause," and the really in the their ultimate defeat (Sherman is riviled in Georgia, and that is Confederate legacy). You can separate the "South" the cultural region from the "Confederacy" the name of the attempted nation-state just like you can separate the German Nation (consisting of all German speaking lands) from "Germany" that nation-state that Prussia brought into being through blood and iron.

I think this is why so many Southerns are relucant to except Maryland. Even with our cultural similarities, we didn't/couldn't join the fight, and the fight is largely, even to this day, what defines much of the Southern nation.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,695 posts, read 34,693,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
I think this is why so many Southerns are relucant to except Maryland.
I think that's the key word. As an outsider, Maryland doesn't appear southern.

But, through this educational thread, I can certainly see that perhaps it should be considered southern.

Self-identity as well. I can certainly see Marylanders identifying themself in such a way, again, through this thread.

I can also see depending on one's location in Maryland, the state appears very different. To be honest, I don't give much thought to the larger peninsular part of Maryland. But I would imagine it would have very little if any similarities with northern states. Plus a whole lot of similarities with southern states.

The rural black population as well. You just seldom see that anywhere in the U.S. but in the south.

Being a non-southerner, I tend to associate country music (definitely more culturally 'whiter') - and I can't recall any songs where I hear a shout out to Maryland. Not that I would know anything beyond the most popular of country songs though.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Edgemere, Maryland
501 posts, read 955,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I think that's the key word. As an outsider, Maryland doesn't appear southern.
I agree, but...Why, then does to an outsider West Virginia seem "southern"? After all, it did not secede, and, as pointed out already, had much less man-power in the amount of sheer numbers of boys and men fighting for the Confederacy than Maryland.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I can also see depending on one's location in Maryland, the state appears very different. To be honest, I don't give much thought to the larger peninsular part of Maryland. But I would imagine it would have very little if any similarities with northern states. Plus a whole lot of similarities with southern states.
You mean the Eastern Shore? Yes. There is no question. Anyone who says otherwise has truely not experienced that place. There have been times when the Eastern Shore was officially contemplating SECEDING from the rest of Maryland. Two times that I remember.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
The rural black population as well. You just seldom see that anywhere in the U.S. but in the south.
It's definitely in Dorchester and Somerset counties among others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Being a non-southerner, I tend to associate country music (definitely more culturally 'whiter') - and I can't recall any songs where I hear a shout out to Maryland.
There are PLENTY of country artists from Maryland. Just not very many well-known unfortunately. I attribute that to your very accurate observation that most Southerners do not consider Marylanders Southern.
Just last year for the big 100 anniversary festival in Essex for it's 100th birthday, there was an Essex-native country music artist named Big Daddy County Cox among others. Country was the featured music. Around here country is the predominant music among white people, and we aren't even a particularly rural part of the state.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,695 posts, read 34,693,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDguy99 View Post
I agree, but...Why, then does to an outsider West Virginia seem "southern"? After all, it did not secede, and, as pointed out already, had much less man-power in the amount of sheer numbers of boys and men fighting for the Confederacy than Maryland.

--------

You mean the Eastern Shore? Yes. There is no question. Anyone who says otherwise has truely not experienced that place. There have been times when the Eastern Shore was officially contemplating SECEDING from the rest of Maryland. Two times that I remember.
I think WV is to cemented in image because it shares the Virginia name, plus it is associated with Kentucky in a negative 'poor white people' way. Plus, there are some strong West Virginian accents there. (By the way, I quite like WV, just as an aside).

Just thinking of another factor that people place Maryland as northern. In our textbooks, we're taught that DC was placed in DC, because it was a type of imbetween place between north and south. The literal thinker would just as quickly define Maryland as the northern one, and Virigina as the southern one, when taught of that idea through public education.

----------------

Regarding the Eastern Shore. Looking at a map, I was just thinking, it is rather unfortunate about Delaware, Eastern Shore Maryland, and that peninsular part of Virginia extending down towards Virginia Beach that that entire area didn't just become it's own state together. Appears to have many of the same characteristics, and would probably have more interest/attraction in the imagination if it were all together. Maybe that's just my own thinking though...
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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I must respectfully continue to disagree:

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Robert E. Lee, "the lost cause", in invicibility of the Army of Northern Virginia, Stonewall Jackson, all Confederate heros, a better term to describe them than "Southern heros"
To what culture group are these generals "heroes"? Robert E. Lee simply chose to be a leader of the Confederacy. He could have easily remained a Union general. "In early 1861, President Abraham Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the entire Union Army. Lee declined because his home state of Virginia was, despite his wishes, seceding from the Union." You don't choose nationality; you are born with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
The best way to describe the American Civil War is to look at its place in the broader history of the Western World. The period of 1860-1880 was the period of Nationalistic wars, it was when "Germany" was formed, it was when "Italy" was formed. It was when France undertook a huge effort (that continues to this day) to make the population "French." In 1860, roughly 1/2 the population of France didn't even speak French! They spoke Breton, Occitian, Provencial, Gascon, etc. The government of Napolean III's biggest acheivement was building a national transportation and education system that served to create and spread the idea of a French "nation" that was didn't exist among 1/2 the population that clung to their regional languages and heritage.
All of the groups you described are national groups based on a common language. It is possible to form a nation as evidenced by the Spanish, French, English, Italians, etc. No one said a "nation" emerged from primordial ooze and remained static. But Confederates simply never formed a nation. Napoleon was not French, he was Corsican. But after years of imperialism and intermarriage and French being foisted upon all of the smaller nations they absorbed, all of these people are still nationally French. The Basque are indeed a separate nation from the Spanish; they have a separate language, cuisine, music, and pre-Christian religion despite Basque living in both Spain and France. The Confederates once again had no culture outside of the shared desire to maintain the institution of slavery. Many Sons of Confederate Veterans are quick to point out that most of their ancestors did not own slaves. I agree that slavery was the binding tie but slavery also existed in states that did not join the Confederacy. To say that the institution of slavery is the cultural link of Confederates is tantamount to saying hatred of whiskey tax formed an ethnic group in the 1790s. Bacon's Rebellion even had more cultural implications than the Confederacy ever did. Of note, a similar "cultural" rebellion also took place in Maryland which definitely bound Maryland to the South rather than the North, but hey that was 335 years ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
When scene through this prism, the Southern American states finding common cause among each other and forming a nation (which is people, not political boundaries) is just another example of this. Unlike the Italian peninsula that had a relatively easy time shaking off several underwhelming overlords and forming "Italy" and begin the process of making their residents "Italians" rather than Romans, Neopolitans, Venicians, etc. or Germany that had Prussian military might to unite all but the German speaking Hapsburg lands under their flag, the Southern Confederacy had to fight in isolation against a larger, more industrialized nation and lost their war for independence.
"Easy" is very qualitative in this concept. You are also opening another can of worms by calling the Union a nation in and of itself. But once again, every other "independence" movement I can think of involves a different culture of people seeking to separate from a domineering majority. What unique cultural traits did Confederates have that people in the rest of the United States did not have? The United States wasn't a larger, more industrialized nation. The Confederacy were a collection of political divisions from this state that tried to undercut their own country and take this wealth for themselves and were not successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
None the less, the Southern "nation" (again people) were united by their conflict and even though they didn't gain independence, keep that sense of unity with each other. It is important to remember in the 1860s and prior it was not THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, it was THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. From the founding of each individual colony until 1860, most residents of the US identified with their state before their federal goverment. The Civil War was fought over this issue. The slave states found common cause with each other against their Northern neighbors, and it came to a head over slavery and perceived threat of growing Federal power (they were right on that one) and attempted to form a "nation." This is no different than what was happening in Italy and Germany at the same time.
Once again, identifying with "state before federal government" is qualitative. A state is a political entity; to this day many people identify their statehood over citizenship. But a Hagerstonian identifying themselves as a Marylander, a Chambersburger identifying themselves as a Pennsylvanian, and a Martinsburger identifying as a West Virginian says absolutely nothing about cultural differences between the three states separated by 65 miles (or an hours drive). I continue to contend that "Confederate" Winchester has more in common culturally with "Union" Chambersburg than it does with Charelston, South Carolina. Also this idea of individual American state's being sovereign, the South fighting for state's rights, and the growing threat of Federal Power is bunk. The South had no problem with the Federal Government when it was dominated by Southern Senators and nine of the first twelve Presidents were Southerners (the three Northern presidents all only managed to get elected to one term). However, when the balance of power shifted in the Senate the 1850s and the South could not get native sons nationally elected to the President (despite Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan being scurrilous doughfaces and a who's who among the worst Presidents in U.S. History), the Southern states behaved like petulant teenagers because the federal government actually did uphold the state's rights of most of of its internal divisions by not forcing Northern states to capture Fugitive Slaves at their own expense. That's when South Carolina claimed it was it's own separate country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
So in conclusion, The American Civil War was really a war about nationalism, the Confederacy was the name of the attempted "state" and its legacy persists in its heros, "the lost cause," and the really in the their ultimate defeat (Sherman is riviled in Georgia, and that is Confederate legacy). You can separate the "South" the cultural region from the "Confederacy" the name of the attempted nation-state just like you can separate the German Nation (consisting of all German speaking lands) from "Germany" that nation-state that Prussia brought into being through blood and iron.

I think this is why so many Southerns are relucant to except Maryland. Even with our cultural similarities, we didn't/couldn't join the fight, and the fight is largely, even to this day, what defines much of the Southern nation.
Sherman is not reviled in "Georgia", he is reviled in "Georgia" amongst a segment of the white population. Once again, it has yet to be addressed why Native Americans and African Americans in the South don't share the same sentiments of hero worship. Hitler is reviled amongst most Americans. I think this is more a function of military action than culture. Once again, I think the SCV would disagree that hatred of Sherman and the love of slavery are not the basis of their shared common ground. Accordingly, I don't think it is accurate to say that all Southerners do not accept Maryland on this basis. A Southern "nation" may exist (once again Southern Maryland shares many cultural facets with the rest of the Tidewater and Coastal South) but that is "Southern". "Confederate" as a nation on the other hand does not exist outside of the context of the South.
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